Voices from the foot of the cross
Here is a series of monologues which can be used on their own or as part of a longer mediation on the cross and the response of several characters involved in the Good Friday story.
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Monologues 1 - 5
adapted where stated from “Voices from the crowd Holy Week Meditation 3” from "Stages on the way" (Wild Goose Publications 1998) © WGRG, Iona Community, G2 3DH
1. Jesus is condemned to death Mt 27.1-2, 11-26
adapted from Stages on the Way WWRG Iona Community pg 148f
And I’m Barabbas
and I’m a free man,
looking at my cross,
only I’m not on it
I’m just standing here - alive
and he is there dying
I shouldn’t hang around here for long
Everyone knows me
and knows what I’ve done
To some I’m a hero - a man of action
To others - I’m a man to be feared
my name is terror to the Romans
They trapped me and arrested me
It was inevitable
I knew it would happen one day
and so I wasn’t afraid
They can kill me, but there’s one of me
and I’ve killed lots of them
So it’s been worth it
The trial was a foregone conclusion
So there I was
sitting on death row
waiting for the inevitable
when I heard this chanting
“Barabbas … Barabbas …”
all these people shouting my name
over and over
I was up to my neck in trouble
I was at the end of the line, on Death Row,
I was going to be nailed to a cross
and if I hadn’t died by sunset
they would probably break my legs,
just to hurry me along
not even Pilate is stupid enough
to leave us up there over the Sabbath
So with that in mind
I wasn’t really bothered what else they did to me
they can’t do anything worse than crucifixion
Having that hanging over you clears your mind,
why be frightened of anything else?
Next thing that happened
there was a key turned in the lock
and they unchained me
took me outside
… and just let me go
I stood there blinking in the sunlight
not for very long
I didn’t know what had happened
but I could see my chance
and I wasn’t going to hang around long enough
for them to decide they’d made a mistake
I ran and ran
If I’ve got the story straight
Pilate gave them the choice
release Jesus or release me, Barabbas
and they chose …me
And for the first time since I don’t know when
no I’ll be honest
… I feel scared
Until today I’ve been certain
The fight has been everything
There has been nothing more important than our fight to cleanse our land of these filthy Romans And I was certain
It was all clear in my mind
I would fight them
and if I was caught I would die
and it would be worth it
the fight was everything
and I was proud to die for the cause.
I never felt more certain
I feel like I’m part of something bigger than our fight
yeah, even bigger than our fight
It’s like I’m caught up in some other story
and I don’t even know which side I’m on
I never asked to join in
but I’m feel like I’m involved
and I don’t like it
I don’t understand
Jesus, what’s happening?
What is going on?
Why are you dying on my cross?
it doesn’t make any sense
You’re the dreamer - you’re the nice guy
all talk about the Kingdom
but to what end?
‘cos you were never going to join our fight
all dreams, all talk - no action
but they say that in front of Pilate
you said nothing
and you’re now dying
and I can’t understand why?
Why does this feel like a nightmare?
What cause are you dying for?
are you dying for me?
in my place?
That makes no sense at all
I’m the fearless man of action,
- fight to the death
but now I’m doing nothing
just standing here
and you’re up there
on my cross
and I feel scared
2. Jesus is flogged Mt 27.26b
But Pilate had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Would you be here
if you were me?
I’m Peter - that’s the...
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